If you thought cruising was too expensive for your annual family holiday, think again. There are unbeatable deals for affordable family cruises, so hop onboard and get ready to relax with the whole gang. The toughest decision you'll have to make on this vacation is where to eat next.
If you're looking to have great fun on a vacation with great value, look no further. Cruises provide countless onboard age-appropriate activities for kids of all ages, as well as opportunities to explore various vibrant ports of call all around the world. The best part? You can always find cruise deals, which means your next family vacation won't break the bank. Prepare to create unforgettable family memories aboard an adventure on the high seas.
On a cruise, you'll have not only an affordable family vacation but also an easy-going, luxurious trip with the whole crew. Once you step onboard, all you'll have to do is soak up the sun and relax — it's that easy. With tons of activities just waiting for you and specialty restaurants cooking up delicious international cuisine, your family will have its choice of incredible experiences. So choose to be as busy or as breezy as you'd like on your next family vacation.
Traveling with kids? No problem! Cruises offer fun and edu-taining programs and activities for kids of all ages. And the best part is that they are included in your cruise and run all day long. Baby programs are perfect for tiny ones up to 18 months. Parents and their bubs can enjoy interactive classes developed by early childhood experts. For toddlers aged between 18 and 36 months, there are programs that include playground sessions and age-appropriate activities.
Meanwhile, in youth programs, kids can conduct cool hands-on science experiments alongside experienced staff. Children can also get creative and learn about the different cultures of their cruise's ports of call through art, while budding actors will have a blast at the kids' theater.
Don't worry, big kids won't miss out either! Send your tweens and teens to their own programs that offer a little more flexibility with the same amount of fun. Your kids can relax in the teen-only lounge, play at the arcades, take part in a sports tournament or dance in the teen-only nightclub. Share the adventure and enjoy a fun family-friendly activity or event, such as outdoor movie nights, Tony award-winning Broadway shows, karaoke and theme parties, scavenger hunts and visits to the family library. During the evening in the library, kids are encouraged to wear pajamas while staff read popular bedtime stories.
When your kids aren't off having their own exclusive onboard fun, they can join the whole group for an endless array of full-family activities. Many ships are now home to the game-changing bungee trampoline experience, an amplified pool deck, laser tag and the longest waterslide at sea. Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘12 coolest slides on the cruise ships and private islands’. In need of a break? Parents will love relaxing with an island-inspired craft cocktail or watching the game at the sports bar while their kids have the time of their lives.
If you set sail on the Oasis of the Seas, you're sure to have the best family vacation ever. Known as the Best Family Cruise Ship, it has seven distinct neighborhoods, including the first living park at sea with over 12,000 plants. Kids will love the fun activities, like the surf simulators, the twin rock climbing walls, the deepest high-dive pool, the only zip line at sea and the first aquatic amphitheater at sea.
With this range of whole-family activities available no matter which cruise ship you board, cruises are also an affordable vacation option for large families and family reunions. Whether you're vacationing with a one-year-old toddler, a 21-year-old college student or a 71-year-old grandparent, each cruise is equipped with a range of onboard activities, events and dining options to suit everyone.
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When it comes to dining, cruises offer unparalleled options for foodies — and dining programs for the whole family. If you have children aged 3 to 11, you can choose a package that allows kids to eat their meal in the main dining room within the first 40 minutes, before staff members pick them up for the evening's activities. This package is available from the second evening onboard, and parents can take advantage of the program once or every night. There's also a late-night party zone for kids and teens, where an hourly rate applies after 10:00 p.m. Kids can party with their new friends, while adults dine in luxury at one of the ship's specialty restaurants.
Speaking of dining, prepare for your taste buds to be tantalized — both on and off the ship. No matter which ship you cruise on, you'll find several complementary dining experiences available for you and the family, from Mexican fare to late-night pizza and Mediterranean/Californian fusion. Eating your body weight in food on vacation has never been easier — or more affordable.
You’ll find a detailed list of the ‘Best Places to Eat for Free on a Cruise’ from fast-casual eats to a multi-course meal with VIP services
If you'd like to take advantage of the specialty dining and bars onboard, save up to 40 percent and purchase dining and beverage packages prior to your cruise. The packages can include nearly everything, such as daily dinners at the specialty restaurants and lunch on cruising days. For young families, kids ages 5 and under eat for free at specialty restaurants, while children ages 6 to 12 can dine for only $10, and they can find delectable kid-friendly versions of regular menu items on their very own children's menu.
It's important to stay hydrated when spending your day in the sun, so there are a variety of drink packages available for the entire family. You can have water bottles delivered directly to your room, or opt for unlimited fountain soda and refills — something the kids may appreciate! For the big kids, a package that offers premium coffee, bottled water, soda and non-alcoholic cocktails is available, and for the even bigger kids (adults!) there's a package that offers the above selection of drinks, plus all alcohol options, including cocktails, spirits, beer and wine. Remember, purchasing a package before boarding is the best way to save money.
With so many possible affordable family vacations, how can you possibly choose just one? If you're looking for a shorter summer vacation cruise for the whole family, try the inexpensive three- and four-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay Cruise. Departing from both Miami and Orlando, these cruises include stops in Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay. The entire family will love a day at the exclusive island, home to an epic waterpark where you can ride North America's largest waterslide. For an above-water thrill, you can capture an iconic photo from 450 feet up in the air onboard the helium balloon experience. If your family is looking for a more chill experience, check out the largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas or the first private over-water cabanas in the Bahamas. Whether you want to chill or thrill, everyone will have a Perfect Day at CocoCay.
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The only difference between these two cruises is the four-night Bahamas Cruise includes an extra cruising day, which means more onboard fun for the whole family. No matter which option you choose, you can't go wrong.
For an affordable beach family vacation, be on the lookout for last-minute cruise deals to the Caribbean. These depart from various locations across the United States, including Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Galveston and New Orleans. If you do your research and either book early or snatch up a last-minute deal, you can book a seven-night Caribbean cruise for between $350 and $450 per person. Depending on your port of departure, Eastern Caribbean cruises stop in Haiti, Puerto Rico and St. Maarten, while Western Caribbean cruises head to Mexico, Belize, Grand Cayman and Honduras. You'll explore paradise without emptying your wallet.
One of the best things about a Caribbean cruise is the opportunity to visit and experience multiple countries, destinations and cultures as a family. Help your children learn about Mayan history at the Chacchoben and Kohunlich ruins in Puerto Costa Maya. Snorkel side-by-side along the world's second-largest barrier reef in Roatan, Honduras, where kids can witness the area's amazingly rich marine life. San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital, sits on the eastern coast of the island, steeped in over 500 years of history. Explore its ancient forts and colorful buildings, and discover delicious criolla cuisine, based on flavors like the rich spice paste adobo and aromatic sofrito, a long-sauteed combo of tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic and herbs.
Fortunately, you can find amazing cruise deals all throughout the year, so your family can get more bang for its buck. Snag an early-bird booking special when booking up to 18 months in advance, or grab a last-minute deal one to four months ahead of time. Be sure to check out the promotions, some of which allow children ages 12 and under to sail for free when traveling with two paying adults. Whether you're the planning or the spontaneous type, there are plenty of affordable cruise options just for you.
What are you waiting for? Whether you're searching for the perfect family summer vacation or an amazing family reunion location, there's a cruise (and cruise deal) for you. Overflowing with fun family-friendly activities, these cruises have something for everyone. So don't break the bank — book your next family cruise vacation!
Book your family cruise early for more cabin choices, better dining time options and extra perks like onboard credit.
Don't forget to purchase your family's dining and beverage packages in advance to save money.
Book a cruise to Perfect Day at CocoCay for an unforgettably fun day in the sun, for both chill and thrill seekers.